March 13, 2014TUFTONBORO — Transfer station superintendent Clay Gallagher showed the Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen a draft at its March 11 meeting of a chart he plans to put on display at the station. While most people can appreciate the revenues gained from recycling and fees, he said that many residents are not cognizant of how much is saved in cost avoidance.
As an example, if the $25,000 savings from avoiding disposal fees is included with the $70,000 in 2013 revenue, the figure would be an impressive $95,000.
His chart lists most of the commodities and tons generated during the year along with columns showing the cost of removal, the actual cost of its disposal and the avoided costs from materials that did not go into the compactor.
Asked if the commercial haulers were recycling, Gallagher said that he has given them an incentive to recycle by reducing their $500 per year commercial fee by $100 for every 10 percent, that they recycle, up to the $500 amount. The average recycling rate of the commercial trash haulers is between 20 to 30 percent.
Following up on the report of March 4 from the Mirror Lake Watershed Committee, the Board told Josh McAllister of H.E.B. Engineers that it is letting the permit for the project at Mirror Lake expire. Selectman Carolyn Sundquist said that the town has priorities that were not apparent in 2006, at the inception of the project to address erosion and drainage issues on Lang Pond Road.
Selectman Lloyd Wood asked McAllister what scope of work would require a permit if undertaken piecemeal. McAllister answered that the Department of Environmental Services needs to see the whole project to be permitted, then in what phases.
The cumulative impacts of the project must be assessed at the beginning. "You're better off paying in one shot for the design and permitting. There are economies of scale," he advised.
Guy Pike, a member of the committee, suggested that the selectmen meet with members in a work session rather than a regular board meeting and plan to do so in the spring when Dusty Davies, President of the Mirror Lake Protective Association has returned.
McAllister commented that there is a high level of success with projects that start with a public hearing and involve a charette to gather input from stakeholders.
Wood asked if weight limits on roads will be posted in the newspaper to alert logging operators. Sundquist said they will coordinate that with Road Agent Jim Bean.
Checking on the status of the computer system speed, a problem called to the board's attention by assessor Rod Wood, Administrative secretary Lynne Brunelle said that two weeks ago a virus was discovered and corrected. Whether the slow speed is a software or server problem has not yet been determined. Wood suggested inviting the two companies involved to the next selectman's meeting.
Wood also provided a list of outside work that might be handled by Bruce Farr's forestry students. Farr does his planning for the year in September after he sees the composition and abilities of his class.
He also noted that the Brower property behind the Cheney Farm has sold at more than its assessed value. The Conservation Commission had its eye on the property for a possible conservation easement.
Sundquist reported that she attended the final hazard mitigation meeting. The updated information will be sent to the N.H. Dept. of Safety, then on to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and finally, to the selectmen.
She also told the board that Jack Rose, transit coordinator for the Blue Loon, has asked if there is any way to restore the $1,500 cut to the $3,000 funding request for 2014. There has been positive movement in the numbers using the service.
"It takes three to five years to get something like that off the ground," said Wood. It's handicapped accessible. It takes time to change the car culture…that's what we're dealing with on the Transportation Advisory Committee."
Sundquist, representative to the Parks and Recreation committee, said that former Swim program Director Mary Ann Murray expressed dissatisfaction with the trimming of the number of lifeguards from two down to one and said she planned to bring the issue up at Town Meeting.
"Whatever happened to Swim at Your Own Risk?" said Joe Kowalski, recalling his youth. Sundquist agreed that such a sign would help reduce the town's responsibility.
The board received a proposal for the wage and classification study from Thornton and Associates that included references for them to follow up on. Wood said he would like to see samples of their work. Sundquist said that she felt that would have to come from the towns themselves since they owned the product.
Selectman Dan Duffy reported on behalf of the milfoil committee that Amy Smygula of DES would be doing surveys of the town's lakes in early spring and said that the committee received a grant of $16,000 (40 percent of the total budget). Milfoil treatments are planned for five days in June and seven days in September.
At this point, the group does not need to charge member towns for use of the boat.
Weed watchers are needed for Union Wharf and Lake Road wharves. The Lake Host program is looking for people to commit to that activity, which involves checking boats as they come out of the water and seeing that milfoil is not flushed back into the lake.
Officials from Tilton and Sanbornton are inviting selectmen from nearby towns to meet discuss the state's residency requirements for the welfare program. All the board members were interested in discussing the issue.
The board noted that a four-cent increase in the gas tax is coming up for approval in the N.H. Legislature. Wood commented that there has not been an increase since 1991, and expressed disappointment that the town's representatives are against the increase.
The board also discussed the lengthy wait for health care refunds through the LGC, especially unfair, they thought, for retired employees.
Wood noted that the ISO rating had gone down from 9 to 6 as a result of having the new fire station located in the center of town. That translates into lower insurance rates for residents living in that area.
Town Moderator Dan Barnard had his eye on the weather as a storm threatened to delay Town Meeting from Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. to Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Tuftonboro Central School.
The next selectmen's meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 24, at 7 p.m., at the town offices.